When Emirates first announced they would be introducing a video interview as part of their cabin crew recruitment process, we initially thought only shortlisted candidates would have the opportunity to take part. It turns out we were wrong and instead Emirates has made the video interview a mandatory element for everyone submitting an application.
This is actually a really unusual but innovative move from Emirates. Most airlines use digital on-demand video interviews as the second stage in their recruitment process – only candidates with the best CV’s are allowed to proceed to take part in the video interview.
Instead, it appears that Emirates will be combining the scores from both your CV and video interview to decide if you’ll be shortlisted and invited to take part in an Assessment Day. This has the potential to make the process fairer and allow candidates to shine across a number of disciplines.
At this point, it’s important to mention that recruiters won’t be individually screening every single application they receive. One of the main reasons Emirates now only accepts applications via their careers website (rather than holding Open Day’s) is because specialist recruitment software will be used to pre-screen candidates – saving a lot of time, effort and money.
What’s the point of the video interview?
Using artificial intelligence (AI), Hirevue (the company which makes the video interview software) say their system can accurately pick out the best candidates without any human involvement.
The software uses complex algorithms to assess and rate hundreds of variables – such as your facial expression, your stress level, the complexity of the words you use and whether what you’re actually saying matches what the computer thinks is the best answer.
Emirates certainly isn’t alone in using Hirevue to help automatically pick out and shortlist candidates – a number of major international airlines already use Hirevue and we’ve seen similar systems become an increasingly popular recruitment tool across a range of industries.
While the basics always stay the same, Emirates has been able to customise the way the digital interview takes place. Luckily, we’ve now had the opportunity to take the Emirates cabin crew digital interview on several occasions to see exactly how it works – and how you can maximise your chance of success.
How does the process work?…
It looks like Emirates is still making a few tweaks and adjustments (it is totally new to the airline after all) but this is how it works at the moment:
Step 1: You’ll need to complete the digital interview as part of your initial application – in order to avoid technical issues associated with saving the application as a draft, we suggest being ready to record the video interview before you start the application.
Step 2: Once you’ve completed your application profile, uploaded your CV and photos, and completed a short two-point questionnaire, you’ll be invited to start the interview.
Step 3: Clicking the link will take you to a branded Hirevue portal. You’ll have an opportunity to take a practice question in order to familiarise yourself with the process and to make sure your lighting and sound levels are correct.
Step 4: Once you’re ready, click to begin the interview. You’ll be asked three questions – you have 30 seconds to prepare for each question and then just one minute to record your answer. The interview will automatically start after the 30-second preparation time and automatically stop after the one minute answer time.
Step 5: Between questions, you’ll have an opportunity to take a breather. You can take as long as you need before progressing to the next question in order to prepare yourself.
Step 6: Once you’ve recorded your answers to all three questions you can close the window and then be automatically redirected to the Emirates careers website to complete your application.
A few top tips…
- Allow yourself plenty of time to fill in your application before getting to the interview stage.
- The questionnaire referred to in the application process is the digital interview – simply click on the link to begin the interview.
- Make sure you’re somewhere quiet with good lighting that doesn’t cast a shadow over your face.
- You can either use a computer with a webcam and microphone or a smartphone/tablet to take the digital interview.
- You don’t need to wear a microphone or earphones.
- Dress like you would in a traditional face-to-face interview.
- The time to answer each question will go very quickly – ensure you pace yourself accordingly and keep an eye on the timer (you don’t want to be interrupted mid-answer).
For lots more tips on performing your best in a digital interview, check out this article: The Complete Guide to the Cabin Crew Video Interview: Part Two – How to Ace the Interview. Tips and Advice
What questions could you be asked?
Now that we’ve gone over the basics of how the video interview works, let’s now cover some of the questions that you might be faced with. Just like in a real interview, there’s no way of knowing every possible question that might be posed. Emirates has built quite an extensive question bank from which to draw upon and seems to be adding more questions on a regular basis. So you might be wondering how you can possibly prepare?
The good news, however, is that nearly all of the questions fall into one of five broad categories – Introducing Yourself, The Role of Cabin Crew and Working for Emirates, Customer Service and Hospitality Experience, Expectations of Living in Dubai and Your Personality.
Below, we’ve compiled a list of all the known questions that candidates have so far faced (if you’ve had a different question then please let us know in the comments below). We’ve also provided key ways to answer these questions – based on what we know Emirates is looking for in its cabin crew.
By preparing in this way, you don’t have to try and remember an answer to every possible question – just to then be faced with a question you weren’t expecting. Don’t try to second-guess the system – you’ll need to quickly adapt but these categories will give you a very good guide…
- What does your hometown look like?
- Tell us about your hometown?
- Tell us about one tradition from your country?
- What are the best places to visit in your country?
- Describe your perfect day?
- What is an ideal vacation for you?
- What your best or most enoyable job?
You might wonder what these questions have to do with wanting to work for Emirates but the Hirevue system will be using your answer to judge your personality and English language skills.
Speak in affectionate terms about your hometown or country of origin. Maintain a warm and happy tone with a big broad smile. This is also a perfect moment to describe how cosmopolitan you are and the experiences you’ve had in a multi-cultural society.
The Role of Cabin Crew and Working for Emirates
- What do you expect to learn from working with Emirates?
- How would you define the job of cabin crew?
- What experience do you have that makes you a good fit for Emirates?
- How do you see the cabin crew job?
- What do you expect of the role if you’re successful?
- What challenges do you expect to encounter as cabin crew?
- What do you expect from the job of cabin crew?
- Why do you want to be cabin crew?
Are you wanting the job for the right reason? There are many people who dream of becoming cabin crew but realise quite how hard the job can be or what will really be expected of them. These questions are all looking to see if you’ve done your research before clicking on the ‘Apply now’ button. These articles will help you prepare:
Customer Service and Hospitality Experience
- What is your definition of customer service?
- Tell us about a situation where you provided exceptional customer service?
- What makes you extraordinary in customer service?
- What is the best service for you?
- What is good customer service?
- Why do you love customer service?
- Why do you believe your experience in customer service would make you suitable for this role?
Why are you passionate about customer service?
All of these questions are urging you to draw upon real-life example – whether from a time you’ve delivered fantastic customer service or when you’ve received it. It’s important to use basic customer service principles througout your answer:
Such as anticipating needs, active listening, empathy, heartfelt apology, teamwork, brainstorming ideas with colleagues, following up with the customer, etc.
Expectations of Living in Dubai
- What do you expect from living in Dubai?
- What do you know about life in Dubai?
- What aspects of moving to Dubai will be most challenging for you?
Pretty easy if you’re already living in Dubai but what if you’ve only ever visited the city – or perhaps never been to Dubai? In that case you need to do your research well in advance. You’ll definitely want to know about the climate, local laws and customs, Ramadan and the current political situation.
- What is something that adds joy to your life?
- How do your friends and co-workers describe you?
- How would you describe your personality?
- What is the one thing you have always dreamt of doing for a long time?
- Describe to us your ideal weekend?
- What do you value most in a friendship?
- Talk about your personality?
- What do you do in your spare time?
- What do you do if you make a mistake?
- What are you most grateful for and why?
Are you a happy and positive person? All of these questions explore not only what you think about yourself but also what others think of you. Ideally, have some real-life examples of situations you have shared with friends and family – mention how your personality and approach to life had a positive impact on the lives of others around you.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.